Land deal faces fight
TORCH Newspaper – 23/01/2002
COUNCILLOR Ian Stromborg has vowed he will do everything in his power to fight Bankstown Airport’s plan to reactiveate a land-swap agreement with Bankstown City Council.
Cr Stromborg, who has won support from fellow councillor Allan Winterbottom, said he intended moving a notice of motion at the ywear’s first meeting of council, on February 5, calling for council to rescind its previous approval of the land swap.
Cr Stromborg is fighting the proposal because he believes it will open the door for further commercial development at teh airport, an accusation Bankstown Airport management strongly denies.
In 1999, Bankstown Council agreed to swap a narrow section of land it manages for the State Government, near the intersection of Milperra Road and Henry Lawson Drive, for airport-owned land near Bankstown Basketball Stadium.
The motivation behind the land swap was to allow the airport to develop the council-managed land to create a narrow slip road, allowing access to fat food outlets near the corner of Henry Lawson Drive and Milperra Road, thus alleviating serious traffic problems in the area.
The council agreed to the swap in order to provide extra land for the Basketball Stadium that would allow its expansion. The agreement lay dormant after the then NSW Land and Water Conservation Minister, Richard Amery, held over his decision on giving the swap the green light until there had been further consultation with the local State MPs.
But in December last year, Bankstown Airport general manager, Kim Ellis, held a meeting with Bankstown Mayor David Blake to discuss the possibility of reactivating the proposal.
Cr Stromborg said he was determined to stand up to the airport on the issue.
“This land swap, if it goes ahead, will further facilitate the commercial development of the airport” he said.
“Enough is enough with this airport. They hide behind federal laws when it suits them so they can achieve their business goals and this is often at the expanse of our city.
“Cr Winterbottom and I expect widespread community support for our action. The residents of Bankstown must come first and foremost.”
But Mr Ellis said the land swap would benefit the people of Bankstown.
“The best way to alleviate traffic congestion, which has been a major problem in that area, is to build a single-lane slip road, allowing access to the fast food complex,” Mr Ellis said.
“The airport plans to seal the road in order for it to be used by local traffic and to help combat traffic problems.
“It is a move that benefits council and the people of Bankstown.”
Mr Ellis was adamant the land swap had nothing to do with further expansion of the airport.
“It is not about commercial development at the airport. It is about building a single, one-lane slip road to relive traffic congestion,” he said.
“We have no plans to further develop that corner of the airport.”